In 2018, Katie Krimitsos started a meditation podcast for women from her closet. Her Women's Meditation Network now has 14 shows and has surpassed 100 million downloads.
Krimitsos’ journey with meditation began in college.
“I was about 19 years old,” she recalls. “I was doing a yoga class at Arizona State University. The last five minutes of the class were this relaxing meditation. It was the first time I ever experienced that. For the first time in my life, my brain went a little blank and I thought, ‘Oh, wow. What was that? That was great!’ It was just a sense of calm. Our brains are usually running at a thousand miles a minute. It just felt like, and still to this day feels like, this overall calm and this ability to separate from those thoughts. After that, I just started seeking different ways to meditate.”
She checked out DVDs and CDs from the library and did silent meditations on her own. After moving to Tampa, she went to meditation classes at local Buddhist centers and joined a friend’s Wednesday night meditation group.
Krimitsos recently reached a milestone on a journey that has built a successful business out of a belief in the positive power of meditation. Her Tampa-based Women’s Meditation Network surpassed 100 million podcast downloads, putting it in rarefied air among the estimated 3 million podcasts out there today. She started in 2018 by hosting her first mediation podcast, “Meditation for Women,” from her closet. Fast forward to 2023 and the Women’s Meditation Network has grown to 14 shows and a team of 18 people.
The still-unfolding success story began with a decision to risk a journey into uncharted professional waters. Krimitsos and her husband Chris Krimitsos owned a local entrepreneurs group, Tampa Bay Business Owners. They put on events and offered business strategy help and online courses for approximately 330 members. At one of those events, a speaker’s talk on podcasting inspired Krimitsos to launch a podcast of her own, “Biz Women Rock,” in early 2014.
“I interviewed women entrepreneurs about their journeys, about all these different aspects of building their companies, about who they were and where they were in the process of building their companies,” she says. “I was helping this community of women entrepreneurs build their companies. I loved it. It was great. Four years into the journey, when things were really taking off and going well, I found out I was pregnant with my second child, Savannah, in April of 2018. Just immediately I said, ‘I’m done with this business.’ I had no idea why that happened. But you get pregnant, things change all of a sudden. It was very scary because I did not know why that thought was happening. I was literally in the throes of growing the company and I was having so much fun. I said, ‘Oh my gosh, this is weird. If I’m not doing this, what am I gonna do?’”
Krimitsos spent four to six weeks “laying low, being introspective, going on walks with my husband and figuring out what to do.”
“In this space of looking inward, I have the idea of doing a meditation podcast for women,” she recalls. “Nobody knew me from meditation at all. Nobody even knew I did meditation. I have always been this kind of very imperfect practitioner of meditation. But I loved it and it works for me. I just figured, ‘I can do this.’”
From there, it was a natural decision to focus on a women’s audience.
“Back then, I was dumbfounded that there was only one podcast that existed at the crosssection of women and meditation,” Krimitsos says. “I said, ‘Okay, I’ve gotta be here. I’ve gotta put stuff here.’ There were so many women just like me searching for meditations and nothing speaking to us, I had to contribute here…I’ve always been passionate about trying to impact women. That’s just part of my DNA. Everything I’ve done has always been encased in this desire to reach women and reach that niche. Then I thought about starting this, and thought, of course, I would reach that niche.”
She focuses on delivering a message that is both personal and universal.
To this day, Katie Krimitsos records her podcast episodes in her closet. "It’s so good for audio quality," she says.
“There’s so much of me that goes into the words I’m writing and the meditations I’m guiding,” Krimitsos says. “I do my best to translate these experiences, feelings, emotions and thoughts that I feel are a pretty universal women’s experience, even though we are all so varied and different. But I feel that, because I am a woman, I can translate all of this and speak a language that carries this universal message so any woman listening can feel, ‘Oh my gosh, she’s talking to me. I didn’t know anyone else felt this way. I didn’t know those were the words I needed to hear.’ That’s a lot of the feedback I get.”
On May 1st, the Women’s Meditation Network added its 14th show, “Meditation for Moms.” LIke most of the podcasts, Krimitsos hosts that show. There are some exceptions. Her friend, Tina Conroy, a trained Reiki master, has the “Healing for Women” podcast and Women’s Meditation Network team member Jody Agard hosts and writes the podcast “Daily Affirmations.”
The full 18-member team includes writers, producers who add music and soothing sound effects to create a “full listening experience,” and Krimitsos’ sister, Valerie Morena, the operations manager and “unseen hero here.”
Today, the Women’s Meditation Network produces 200 to 300 episodes a month. With all the growth and success, Krimitsos still records her podcast in her closet.
“It’s great,” she says. “It’s so good for audio quality because you have all the clothes around absorbing the sound. It’s a trade secret in the podcasters community.”
As the Women’s Meditation Network’s success story continues to unfold, Krimitsos continues her personal journey with meditation.
“I’m a very imperfect meditator and I think we all are,” she says. “I’m definitely not one of those people who meditates for an hour every morning at 5 a.m. with candles burning. That’s not me.”
Instead, she grabs five to 10 minutes after her daughters have gone to school, before work, or after a trip to the grocery store. Multiple times throughout the day, she will close her eyes, calm herself and “take a little time to breathe."
“I call them little mini moments of mindfulness,” she says.
She says that, over time, meditation can have a transformative effect on our mental well-being.
“For me, meditation has been a pause,” Krimitsos says. “It’s an opportunity to take a deep breath, come into the present moment and allow those thoughts that are always rolling to find some space between them and you. When we find space between those thoughts and ourselves, we are much less likely to feel like we are in the mix of that motion and that we are those thoughts. When we talk about mental health, it is so much about trying to fortify ourselves and support ourselves against those thoughts, the worry, the anxiety, the fear. So when we use this tool of meditation, it allows us to separate from our thoughts and to understand that we are separate from our thoughts That allows us to ground ourselves in the present moment, to see that is all we have, and to show gratitude for this moment. And when we ground ourselves in the present moment, we can truly just be here and not with those thoughts, worries and frustrations."
"When we notice we are separate from our thoughts, we can feel empowered to choose the thoughts that are more beneficial to us," she continues. "We can choose to let thoughts in that are good, that fulfill, that lead our lives in the direction that we want them to go. If you ask me the biggest impact that meditation has, and probably the beating heart of what I want to do with these meditations, is really give the listener an opportunity to know themselves very well. When we are able to practice this again and again, we become very well connected to our intuition. That allows us to create lives that we actually love instead of allowing fear, worry, expectations and other people’s scripts to create our lives.”
For more information, go to Women's Meditation Network